I’m writing this during the week of International Women’s Day and here’s what I’ve decided. On March 8th I’m going to be radically kind to my body. Negative thoughts about my body will be banished. I will neither starve nor overindulge, neither overdo nor over sit. I will treat my body lovingly in all ways.
It sounds so easy, but I’m betting that it’s not, and that I’m not alone in this. How has it come to be that being kind to our bodies is a radical act?
Could it be the influence of the $68.2 billion dollar weight loss industry (in the U.S. alone)? Could it be the influence of unrealistic cultural standards of thinness? Could it be the influence of a male dominated culture seeking to keep women under control by keeping us occupied with the deficiets of our bodies?
Consider that the dieting industry exists because diets don’t work. If diets worked, they wouldn’t have a sustainable business model.
Consider also the words of Dr. Gail Dines:
“If tomorrow women in the West woke up and decided they really like their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business – the cosmetic industry, the clothing industry, the diet industry, the gym industry – and then think of all the allied industries that support those industries. So when I say capitalism is dependent on women hating themselves, I’m not exaggerating.”
You can reclaim your right to like your body, to respect it, and to treat it well. You don’t have to wait until some magic day when your weight or shape changes. You don’t have to wait until someone else gives you the power. In the words of Drs. Lindsay and Lexie Kite of Beauty Redefined, your body is an instrument, not an ornament.
When we think like that, we naturally make the shift to body as valuable and worth caring for. And in today’s world that’s a radical act.
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Don’t miss Lindsay Kite’s amazing TED talk on changing body objectification.
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